Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pet Review - Hartz Mini Mice

If you're familiar with my blog or my Facebook at all, you probably know about our crazy kitten named Minion.  He has been a handful from the first moment we heard him crying on our front porch.  Like most kittens, he is go go GO, nearly bouncing off the walls at times, and almost always looking for things to entertain him.  We do have another cat, Lynx, but he is an older cat and would much rather sit in the sun and sleep all day . . . not run and chase and wrestle with this naughty little newcomer.  So it falls on us, the human family members, to interact and play with demon child Minion.  We do have a toy on a stick, you know the stretchy string type toy on a stick that you entertain the kitty with by making him chase and run and jump and burn energy.  Problem is, there isn't always someone with a free hand and a free moment to play this game.  And lately it just hasn't been holding Minion's attention anyway.

Desperate for a toy to catch his interest, I'd been buying something new each week when I went grocery shopping, and nothing really did the trick until the day I bought these . . .
Hartz brand Mini Mice!  Minion *LOVES* these things!  And they have been a life saver for us.  They are small, the body being about 1 1/2 inches long, covered in a furry fabric, with a long fabric tail and little pink felt ears.  The inner part is a sturdy white plastic.  The website says they have catnip but I don't seen any mention of it on the packaging.  The moment I pulled the first package out of the shopping bag Minion was there.  He would have been happy grabbing the whole dang pack and running with it!  I had to drop everything else to cut open the package and get one mouse out . . . and he was leaping at me to get it.  It was hilarious.  I tossed it across the floor and Minion took off after it. 

And he played with that thing for HOURS.

Lynx also loves these little mice but he just doesn't play as much as Minion, and it doesn't help that Minion never *lets* the old man play.  If Lynx is batting something around, Minion has to be right there to see what it is.  Like I said, he's a demon child.

Anyway, the one outside of the package in the picture above is one that he'd already been playing with, so it looks a bit  . . . crusty.  But, back to the point, Minion goes nuts for these things.  He will bat it around the kitchen for at least an hour.  If he comes into another room to check on things, he's carrying his toy like it's a real mouse.  He will get protective of his 'kill' just like with a real mouse.  And after he's had enough quality time with the victim, he will stop batting and chasing, and instead go to work on 'eating' it.  He will bite hard on it, crushing the inner plastic body, and will pick at the fur until that plastic is exposed.  Then he's done.

A mouse used to last him a few days.  Sometimes he'll finish one off in a matter of hours.  But oh, the peace and joy that we have while he's playing with one!

He wouldn't even let me finish taking pictures before he was in the way, thinking he was getting a new one.  LOL!

After going through several of the smaller packs I decided to try the larger pack.  The mice are made the same but have crazier, solid colors.  This pack is cheaper per mouse.  Minion seems to have a slight preference for the half white ones, but I suppose it could also be that by the time I tried these bright colored one, maybe the thrill is starting to wear off.  Not sure yet.  It's also very funny because lately, every morning, we've been finding his latest brightly colored victim in the cat food dish.  No clue why he does that!?

I buy these Mini Mice at Walmart, but I've seen them in almost every store that has a pet section.  The large pack is 12 mice for $5.27, and the smaller pack is something like $3.27 for five.  (I forgot to note the price, and will update this post after my next stop at Walmart.)

These little buggers have been a surprise hit with our kitties, and have provided many hours of play for our high energy, attention starved kitten.  And they're quite cheap!  I absolutely recommend them, and I'd love to hear how your kitty reacts to them.


  1. Another Minion post! :)

    I had a Siamese whose favorite toy was hair elastics, he would hold down one end with a paw and put the other end in his mouth and play tug of war. Like Minion he would carry them around in his mouth and I would find them in his food bowl too, I guess eating was the only activity that made him drop one from his mouth. (He treated them like mice too, he batted them around and threw them in the air.)

    I read somewhere black cats are distantly related to Siamese. Minion sounds like he has Siamese in him with his activity level, personality and talkativeness.

  2. After reading your Siamese/black cat comment I did some Googling and the first thing that struck me in the pics were the ears on the kittens. Minion had huge, bat ears as a kitten, very similar to Siamese kitten pics I saw. He's not at all talkative though. We very rarely actually hear him speak.

    Funny about the hair ties. We've had cats that loved them too. We had one cat who was obsessed with the plastic rings you pull off milk jugs when you open them. She would actually play fetch just like a dog, as long as a milk jug ring was involved.

    Gotta love the kitties!